The Hinks School Story
Before March 24, 1945, there was only forest where Hinks School stands today. The land was given to the Alpena Township Board of Education by Frank T. Hinks. He donated the 19 acre plot because he saw the need for a new school in the area. He loved Alpena, and he was a strong believer in education. The same year that Mr. Hinks donated the land, the Genschaw Road School was moved to the property. This school had only one room! The children ranged from first to eighth grade.
Children continued to go to Genschaw Road School until September 5, 1952, when the new Hinks School was completed on the grounds. The old one-room school remained on the property for some time while students attended Hinks, and the remains of the Genschaw School's foundation can still be viewed on the property.
Hinks School has grown over the years. In 1961, an additional two classrooms were added. The need for expansion came again in 1966, so two classrooms, new offices, gymnasium, and kitchen were added. In 1980, energy-saving renovations were completed to help lower heating costs. At that time, large windows were blocked up and replaced by smaller, energy efficient ones, school rooms were carpeted and painted with the teacher's choice of colors, ceilings were lowered, and other improvements were made. This was a time when approximately 420 students attended Hinks School. Since that time, more classrooms have been added to eliminate the need for temporaries and other remodeling has made Hinks what it is today.
Today, approximately 200 students in grades K-5 attend the school on US-23 North. The school grounds consist of more than 40 acres of land now. The campus is unique because of the large playground area connected to an open field. The property also features a large wooded area with a nature trail which leads through the woods and back to the banks of The Narrows, a waterway connecting Long Lake to Lake Huron. The front lawn is shaded by many trees, including 32 that were planted by sixth grade students during their own time on a Saturday in 1980. The location gives students and teachers a wonderful opportunity to explore many different Science and nature activities.
Many students, teachers, and principals have come and gone from Hinks School. We will be forever grateful to Frank T. Hinks for his generous gift.
This history was originally researched and written by Rachel Marzean and Jon Lundin, members of Hinks School's sixth grade class of 1997.